When Ritsu was in high school, he fell in love with a boy who broke his heart, changing his view of love forever. Now a jaded adult, Ritsu has just transferred to the Marukawa Shoten company in hopes of publishing literature, only to be told that he'll be working in the shoujo manga division instead. What's worse, his boss is brash, rude and seems to have an interest in him! However, the biggest surprise is yet to come for Ritsu, as he soon discovers that his boss is none other than his lover of his past!
I love this showwww! It is so good man...the back and forth between stories and the dialogue was just everything. Even when I worried it would get cheesy, it didn't. It's BL which I love and its very romantic. My favorite storyline is Takano and Onodera, though all three are good. I just can't wait to watch part 2. This show is super addictive and pretty much a giant ball of fluff. It reminded me a little of a fanfiction the way it plays everything out, but don't take my word for it, just watch it. Story: like I said, I loved this. It's pretty much a slice of life anime but cleverly placed within a manga editing company. This leads to a lot of funny moments and almost 4th wall breaks. I watched the OVAs first so I knew the background on four of our six main characters and as the show goes along, you switch between the 3 storylines. The characters are all tied together by the fact that they work in the same division. There's a lot to love here. I don't really think I need to go into the story too much because you should just watch it yourself. Animation: Very well done. The characters, though similarly drawn, still look gorgeous and I love the scenery but the key elements are as follows: Music: I wasnt too much a fan of the opening music, but the ending theme was really good. However, the OST for this show is probably one of my favorites of any anime I've seen. It was beautiful and placed perfectly throughout the show, leading to tears and smiles and all the other feels. I just adored it. and The Characters: as I stated earlier, they look similar but their personalities all differ giving the viewer a variety of people to identify with. All of them were strongly characterized and played beautifully by the voice actors as well. I watched this subbed and it was wonderful. I also enjoyed all the love scenes which there are a lot of, and all the revelations which there are also a lot of. It was just so good. Overall: I'd recommend it and I'd definitely watch it again. I loved it. 9/10.
Sekaiichi hatsukoi was my introduction to the BL genre, seeing as I am a huge BL fan now I know hatsukoi must of done something right. In this review I will mainly be covering the main couple but will touch on the other character at the end of the review. This review is also very opinion based and may be bias, just a heads up. This is also my first review every so some feedback is welcome! Anime overview The anime follows 3 different couples, the main couple being Onodera Ritsu and Takano Masamune. Ritus is the son of a successful publishing company who has been accused by his co-workers of riding his father’s coat tails. Angered by this he quits his father’s company and joins Marukawa Publishing only to find he's been placed in the shoujo manga department despite being a literature editor previously. A little while after being placed in the department he finds out his boss, Takano, is actually his old high school lover who broke his heart causing his personality to become rather jaded. He then finds out the heart break was all a misunderstanding and Takano swears that he will make Ritsu say he loves him again. The anime is a romantic comedy than looks at the daily lives of manga editors in a comedic fashion. The mix of comedy and romance really fits together well and makes the anime a lot of fun to watch. Characters Onodera Ritsu as a character for me was very refreshing. Despite being exceptionally Tsudere and evasive I actually found he resistance rather satisfying. Often in these types of anime when a character swears they will never fall of the main dude, about an episode later they are dating them like they never said it. Ritsu on the other hand sticks by his word for the most part and actively trys not to fall for Takano, despite the fact he is already in love with him. For the most part Ritsu maintains a good balance of denial and acceptance when it come to Takano, but later in the series drags these feelings on a bit to much to the point where as a watcher I started to feel irritated. He knows later on he is in love but still tries to avoid Takano which was frustrating but still admits it enough to start a sexual relationship with him which makes his character a bit contradictory Takano Masamune is the seme in this relationship and has a very "hands on" approach when it comes to demonstrating his affection. As a character he is very honest and blunt, saying things how they are and refusing to sugar coat anything. He is very controlling and demanding in his work and likes to abuse his authority in a comedic way making him an enjoyable character in the series. The only problem I have with him is his very physical approach to handing his feeling for Ritsu. He will often molest Ritsu or be very forceful despite Ritsu's protests making some of the more intimate scene very uncomfortable to watch. Despite this side I still found him an enjoyable character. Soundtrack The soundtrack as a whole is decent. The opening and ending themes are enjoyable and the character songs are nice as well. The rest of the soundtrack in my opinion was forgettable and not something I'd go out of my way to listen to, but suited the scenes they were used in well. Other characters/plots There are two other minor couples in Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, the first being between Hatori and Chiaki. Hatori is Chiaki's manga editor and childhood friend who has been in love with him for years. Chiaki is a complete airhead and doesn't notice his feelings and Chiaki's assistant Yuu also has a thing for Chiaki. This is in my opinion the most frustrating and least enjoyable story in Sekaiichi hatsukoi. Chiaki as a character can be frustrating and the love triangle is more of an annoyance than a drama as the viewer already knows who Chiaki will end up with. Kisa and Yukina are the final couple in the show. Kisa is a 30 year old editor who has never fallen in love, all of his relationships have either been one night stands or completely sexual. Despite this he finds himself falling for the prince like Yukina and soon realizes he's in love but believes he will never be good enough for Yukina. This is possibaly one of the best stories in the show and as a viewer I found myself rooting for Kisa and Yukina's relationship. The story between them is completely believable and the most realistic in the show as Kisa has feelings and thoughts than any normal person would have making them a very enjoyable couple. Verdict In all the story between Ritsu and Takano takes a more realistic standpoint than other BL animes would. While other BL animes would have the main couple sleeping together by episode 2, sekaiichi hatsukoi takes its time to build the relationship to create a more realistic story. The main problem with the story is the molesting scenes and the parts where Takano takes advantage of Ritsu, however with these types of scenes being common in BL animes it shouldn't effect fans too much. Overall Sekaiichi hatsukoi in my opinion is a 8.5 out of 10. The story is good and most of the characters are enjoyable, the only real let down for me personally is the couple of Hatori and Chiaki and the overuse of molesting to advance the story. If you can handle this however then this anime should defiantly go on your to watch list! :D
Ep 1: So far, I am loving it. After watching Junjou Romantica, which is in the exact same vein as Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi, I couldn't resist. Although I can predict the probable main plot already, no one really watches yaoi for the plot, do they? The story opens with Onodera Ritsu starting a new job at a new publishing company, but is assigned to the shoujo manga department, much to his distaste. Everyone in the department seems to be zombie-like in their exhaustion, except for Takano, the head editor of the shoujo manga editing department. There is the obligatory kiss, to remind the fangirls that it is in fact, yaoi. The next day, everyone in the department seems to have been brought back to life with extra pink, and the department has been turned into something akin to a seven year old girl's bedroom. About half way through Takano asks Onodera if he knows him from somewhere. I predict a very awkward scene very shortly, along the lines of, "Oh sh*t, I just remembered! We had sex on the day you confessed to me!" "Oh, SH*T!". Only, it will probably contain less, "Oh sh*t" and more blushing, more perfect hair, and more apologising. Ep2: Still loving it, and the second episode went basically how I predicted, except now Takano is attempting to seduce Onodera, so much awkwardness/romantic-ness will ensue. The plot for the episode starts with Onodera and Takano going to visit a mangaka who is having trouble meeting her deadline, after which they are both exhausted. They end up on a sofa back at the publishing company, where Takano reveals that he has remembered where he and Onodera met before: he was Onodera's first love at high school. If you have watched the OVA and/or read the manga, he was also Onodera's first. Onodera promptly remembers a bit, and it transpires that they broke up messily over a big misunderstanding, resulting in Onodera's loss of faith in love. The episode ends with Onodera conflicted about his feelings for Takano. I also really like the end song. Already can't wait for next week! Ep3: I confess, I did get a little over-excited and read ahead in the manga, but it was worth it! If you're a fan of the, ahem, erotic scenes, then I really reccomend reading the manga as well. So, our episode opens with the introduction of a new character, Yokuzawa, who appears to have a really good relationship with Takano, and that immediately sets the unconscious jealousy bells ringing in Onodera's head. There is a bit of brooding, then Onodera's mangaka faxes over the storyboard for checking. Since all storyboards have to be checked personally by Takano, and since he lives next door, Onodera visits him. There's a bit of editing, but it isn't long before the handjobs begin. However, before anything can get really serious, Onodera tries to escape, opening the door to reveal Yokuzawa, cue rolling credits. An episode well worth the wait, and since I was begging the internet to reveal the next installment of this highly addictive series, I was anxious to see what would happen. It was good! Ep4: The plot picks up right where it left off last time, with a replay of Takano's quick fondling of the more delicate parts of Onodera's anatomy, followed by Onodera trying to escape. He opens the door to find Yokuzawa, they exchange a couple of insults, and Onodera rushes off to cool his growing problem. The next day at the office, Onodera's mangaka is running super late with the manuscript, and he ends up having a shouting argument with Takano and Yokuzawa that results in him going to Hokkaido to retrieve the MS. However, Takano agrees to take the blame if anything goes wrong, which only makes Onodera work harder to get it right. He gets back just in time, the manuscript is rushed off and Onodera once again goes to cool down in a bathroom. Yokuzawa appears and basically tells him it's his fault that Takano is screwed up, which Onodera doesn't understand. Skip straight to the subway, Onodera falls asleep on Takano's shoulder. Skip to the next morning, Onodera wakes up in Takano's bed slightly unclothed and immediately suspects the worst. However, we know the worst didn't happen because there was no carefully placed black shading on the edges of the screen and because there wasn't enough 'ah' or 'oh' or 'ng' for there to have been a sex scene. The episode ends with Onodera swearing that he will not fall in love with Takano - the irony being, he probably already has. I really needed this episode - mostly because I'm still feeling the effects of the alcohol I drank in celebration of the Royal Wedding, and considering my tolerance of alcohol is zero I basically screwed myself over. Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi continues to be the highlight of my week, once again prooving I will die alone and a virgin. Ep5: Thus proving my theory about SIH being the same as Junjou Romantica, this week we are introduced to a new couple, Chiaki and Hatori. Hatori, who we have met before, is another shoujo manga editor at Marukawa and Chiaki is his mangaka, who works under a female penname and has been mentioned before. One day, Chiaki sees Hatori and his friend kissing in an alley. Naturally, this is a misunderstanding, but it totally throws Chiaki and he gets sick and spends a day moping in bed. Whilst sleeping on the sofa, he wakes up to Hatori kissing him. There is some short angsting, then skip ahead about three minutes to the fireworks festival where we have the touching romantic scene in which Hatori tells Chiaki he has been in love with him for twenty eight years, but he is going to stop editing Chiaki's manga because Chiaki no longer trusts him or something, which Chiaki is obviously opposed to and says he loves Hatori. Hatori assumes this means just as a childhood friend, but, naturally, we all know that it is more because of the genre. They return home, and there is a brief and chaste make-out scene with a bit of romantic name saying. As wrapped up as I was in 'The Case of Onodera Ritsu', I am very interested in this new couple because they're the one couple not in the manga - they're in the novels. I pretty much know the manga by heart now after reading it about seven times, but I refuse to spoil what will happen. If you must know, go read it. Anyway, cute couple. I suspect the aforementioned friend from the misunderstanding will be jealous of one of them, though he is obviously an uke. But yes, I am exhausted, and SIH is a brilliant respite from exams. Can't wait for next week! Ep6: Still focusing on Chiaki and Hatori this week, we focus more on Yuu's relationships with the other two characters. Everyone except Chiaki knows that Yuu is after Chiaki in a way that is only possible for shoujo/josei characters to be. At the same time, Hatori knows Yuu likes Chiaki, creating all kinds of animosity between their characters. Still oblivious to said animosity, Chiaki is still confused about the relationship between Hatori and Yuu, he does a lot of beating about the bush on whether he likes Hatori (totally) or Yuu (nope). He has to go to some mangaka New Year's do, which provides a suitable environment for reminding the audience about the other couple, Onodera and Takano, who briefly cameo. We also get mentions of Isaka and Usagi-sensei from Junjou Romantica. Chiaki asks Yuu to go with him to the party thing, which makes Hatori more stoic/jealous, resulting in a moment of awkward sweetness and a mini temper tantrum before suddenly cutting to a wide shot of the apartment building Chiaki lives in...which means there was a sex scene, in case you don't already know the rules of BL. This is further reinforced by Chiaki looking as tired as hell the next morning, as the uke generally does. Yuu arrives, and reveals he has someone he likes. Hint. Hint. Once again, I have sort of ruined things for myself by buying the drama CDs, which took almost two weeks to import, and from what I could make out with my not-that-brilliant Japanese...well, if you want to know, buy the CDs. On the side, being introduced to the world of publishing manga is quite interesting. But it's the romance I'm more interested in. Sorry, mum, but I think I'll have to disobey your rule of no porn in the house, because if I can find uncensored versions of this series there is no way in hell I'm not watching it. Blush. Ep7: This week, we go back to the main pairing of the show, Onodera and Takano. The episode opens with Takano rejecting a proposal for a new series Onodera wrote, leading to a whole sequence of blushing and monologuing on the part of Onodera. There is a kiss, which Yokuzawa (probably) sees, and promptly calls dibs on Takano. This leads to Onodera wondering if the other two are dating, an annoying theme that will persist for a couple more episodes if we're going by the manga. Just in case you didn't catch Takano saying "we're just friends", or something along those lines, they are not dating. Obviously. Someone who randomly tuned in on episode seven could tell this. There is more monologuing, all of which proves what Onodera is desperately trying not to prove - that he is, in fact, still/already in love with Takano. But we already knew this. In a book shop, Onodera runs into an old (and female) friend, who gets drunk and almost falls over, causing him to grab her. Guess who walks in? Takano, of course! With a really pretty woman (if you've been paying attention in the last couple of episodes, you'll notice this is Ichinose Erika, a mangaka who was after Hatori as an editor in the last episode), so there is a little bit of random jealousy on both sides. Although, considering how both Takano and Onodera are clearly gay (if the whole fancying, loving and fucking men part passed you by) but clearly neither of them have noticed this yet. Somehow. There is a brief mutual handjob scene (with accompanying line, "here, touch mine too"), which was censored, obviously, followed by blushing and panting. The next day, Isaka-san from Junjou makes a cameo again, Takano grabs Onodera's ass, and there is some very creepy chibi laughing. The episode, once again, ends with Onodera insisting he isn't in love with Takano - the irony, once again, is that he already is. I was eating a box of raspberries while watching this episode, and I confess I did accidentally spit a few of them halfway across the room at the screen during certain scenes. But I did hold the nosebleeds at bay, which is good because I'm currently extremely stressed because of exams, which makes me much more prone to them. Combine that with at least 10 minutes of boredom during exams when I finish early during which I invariably think of sex, my nose has almost constantly been dripping blood. It's amazing I haven't passed out from blood loss yet. But another extremely sweet episode. And I still can't get enough. Now to clean the raspberry stains off my bedroom... Ep8: Once again, we meet a new couple: baby faced Kisa Shouta and sexy sexy Yukina Kou. If, at this point, you still haven't read the manga, do so now, because it will stop you being annoyed by Kisa's character, at least a little bit. And I admit, at first I found him vastly unappealing because of his face thing; he likes a pretty face. Naturally, this makes him sound uber superficial, which, to an extent, he is. In fact, we meet one of his one night stands in this episode, who he is somewhat generically rescued from by Yukina in all his multiple piercing glory. So, Kisa is yet another shoujo manga edita at Marukawa, leading to the obligatory cameos of Onodera and Takano, and he makes regular trips to Marimo book shop (if you get the Junjou reference here, you're cool/obsessed) so he can ogle one of the employees, a hot dude he only knows as Yukina who flirts outrageously with younger female customers in order to sell manga, dramatically increasing the sales rate of the shop. This means monologuing, and lots of it. Yokuzawa appears and introduces Kisa to Yukina. We have the aforementioned one night stand's appearance, followed by Yukina's quick save, and Kisa quickly runs away to drink tea in a cafe, where he is happened upon by none other than the dude he was ogling in the previous scene. Bla bla manga talk bla, Kisa concludes he doesn't have a chance with Yukina, bla bla more manga talk bla, Yukina leans over the table and kisses Kisa behind his sketch book. Cue rolling credits. I am afraid because it was my grandmother's birthday, and because I have an extremely low body mass because I'm really short (I make most anime characters look normal height, and yes, that includes Kisa Shouta) I am slightly tipsy right now, so I didn't appreciate SIH as much as I should, so I will watch it again tomorrow. But just so you know, if you're feeling the need for a bit of Kisa/Yukina mansex, read the manga and skip straight to the second chapter featuring that pairing. One word: easy. As this is the third couple in the series, it's also the one that will be least focused on, but that doesn't stop it interesting me. Kinda sweet, once you get past the slightly emo monologuing and the fact Kisa Shouta looks like a male anime version of me, which is a little scary. Ep9: The latest installment of Kisa Shouta's love life. Just for anyone out there who hasn't read the manga and likes a bit of steamy man on man action, go and read it now because when it cuts away after the romantic staring scene, you know what happens, wink wink. So, the plot this week: Kisa's been brooding over whether he should have anything to do with Yukina or not, broods over whether he's a good editor or not, ad infinitum. He's basically been dodging Yukina's emails since the kiss last week, and eventually does go and see him because he made a promotional display in the shop because he's just that nice. Bla bla, Yukina defends Kisa from an ex, they decide to go to Yukina's for coffe, and one bow chika wow wow later, Kisa knows he's in love with Yukina, who is also in love with him. Not a particularly compelling plot, and I'm just not emotionally attached to this couple to really care all that much for their situations. More of the other two, please! Ep10: Back to my second favourite pairing of the show, this week we have more Hatori/Chiaki fluff. Because by all rights, SIH is pure fluff. Highly censored pure fluff. But still, it warms my heart, so I'm not complaining. So, this week Chiaki is oblivious to his friend Yuu's advances, who had a slightly stalker-esque habit of drawing him a lot...including when he is sleeping. Hatori catches Yuu tickling Chiaki, which Chiaki can't see as anything but platonic. However, we (blind and deaf and dead people included) can see that Yuu's intentions are anything but pure. Hatori gets pissed off and storms out, and Chiaki takes a week to pluck up the courage to go and apologise face to face. He initially thinks Hatori's still pissed about the deadline, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that Hatori's pissed about Yuu's tickling thing. There is an almost sex scene, which Chiaki promply ruins by falling asleep...how dreadfully unromantic. He wakes up the next morning to find everything hunky-dory. Later, Chiaki mentions that he's spending the weekend at a hotspring with Yuu, at which Hatori becomes pissed again, the reason for which appears later. So, at the hotspring, Chiaki mopes and Yuu stares at him lustfully, Chiaki is oblivious and Yuu flirts a bit. That night, we find out why Hatori was pissed - it's Chiaki's birthday, and one would imagine that spending your birthday with your boyfriend is the done thing. Yuu gets drunk on champagne, and requests to draw Chiaki naked. Chiaki agreest to taking his top off, and Yuu promptly confesses, but, Chiaki being as oblivious as he is, he doesn't take it seriously. Destiny arrives in the form of a phone call from Hatori, who promptly reminds Chiaki of the real pairing of this arc (or whatever the hell you call the little stories within the show, since they aren't really arcs because they occur simultaneously, but whatever), and Chiaki promptly runs home into Hatori's arms. Cue possessive boyfriend scene, followed by romantic pink and fluffy scene, followed by fully censored sex scene which was so obviously there. The next day there is a small jokey sequence, bla bla, that made me giggle, making my brother come and check on me while the rather romantic credits were rolling...so now my brother knows I like to watch yaoi. Yay...But still, it could have been worse. Much worse. I like this pairing quite a bit, maybe because of how adorable/annoying Chiaki is, while at the same time how sweet Hatori is. I suppose I'm more emotionally involved in this pairing than the Yukina/Kisa pairing because they're on more often (I think) but not as much as Takano/Onodera, because I've read the manga. Which reminds me, if you haven't (but by this stage, you really should have!) read the manga, go do it now. I'm still waiting for chapter 5, and it's killing me because there is no scanlation and I can't read kanji! No~! Ep11: Much like Junjou Romantica, I am going to assume the final two eps focus on Onodera and Takano (the same way JR focused on Misaki and Usami). So, this episode features a lot of establishing that editing is a buisness mostly focused on murdering employees and higher-ups yelling at each other. Onodera wakes up on the floor of his appartment, realises he's going to be late for a meeting he's supposed to watch, gets yelled at by Takano, then sits in a room where Takano, Isaka, Yokozawa and some random woman yell at each other for about five minutes. Hooray for random shouting! Skip to outside the library, there is a brief romantic scene where we remind the fans that this is, in fact, a show about romance and not about publishing, and we have a bit of kissing followed by a slap when Onodera falls down the stairs. Skip to back at the apartment, a cat (yes, the cat from the OVA) makes a guest appearance, accompanied by the permanently pissed off Yokozawa. We learn a little more about Takano's backstory - apparently, Onodera leaving him made him really messed up, meaning drinking and hookers. FEMALE hookers! What blasphemy! He must have been really, really messed up to have to want a female hooker. Unless he's bi. But whatever. It makes me unhappy. And, hint hint for maybe final episode/next season (??) note the idea of Onodera's fiancee. I will say it again, if you haven't read the manga, do it now, because it makes it pretty clear. Onodera has a fiancee, arranged by his parents, so this will either come up in the next ep or next season (please, oh gods of yaoi, please let there be a second season in the works!), which is basically Takano being jealous of some annoyingly perky girl that Onodera is obviously not into. Guess where this leads? Yes, sex! Hooray! Ep12: No! The final episode! How will I survive without my weekly dose of anime yaoi! But anyway, this ep picks up straight from where the last one left off, with Onodera escaping the wrath of Yokozawa and moping for a few minutes. Takano knocks on the door to drop off a couple of dropped pieces of paper, leading to a neat little make-out scene - almost sex! But they're interrupted...damn. Oh, and at some point Onodera decides to seriously become a manga editor after a little encouragement from Mutou-sensei. The next day at work, Onodera publicly declares his resolution - and that is literally all the plot this episode. But more to the point, I was almost crying at the end of the show during the credits. Based on Junjou Romantica, where the manga went ahead of the anime only to be caught up with in season two, and the fact the SIH manga plot has gone further than the anime, there may be a season two! I'm not sure how popular SIH was in Japan, which will pretty much dictate if it gets a second season, but it won't be announced for about a month if it is.
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